Mark Kindy - University of Florida
Life is like a trumpet - if you don't put anything into it, you don't get anything out of it. -- William Christopher Handy
Edwards Gen II - Bach 3C, Asymmetric Lead/Schlike 13a4a Heavyweight
"There are two sides to a trumpeter's personality: there is the one that lives only to lay waste to the woodwinds and strings, leaving them lying blue and lifeless along the swath of destruction that is a trumpeter's fury; then there's the dark side...." --Michael Stewart
Then I would stick with the 3C or the ACB 3C. Then you will never have to worry about this. Maybe get a 3D if you want a bit of a shallow cup for jazz or whatever.
As richtom pointed out, it's in your head. Really. Some guys are shocked when I tell them I use a shallow mpc most the time. "It sounds so sweet and mellow", they say. Not the traditional comment one would expect from a screamer piece. I have learned to make the horn and mpc do what I want to do. It takes practice, but as patkins pointed out, it will save you a lot of money.
Knowledge is freedom, and ignorance is slavery - Miles Davis
The difference between a beginner and pro mouthpiece is practice - tobylou8
Nobody has learned how to play the trumpet. It's endless. - Maynard Ferguson
Don't be afraid to try something different. The Ark was built by an amateur and the Titanic was built by a group of experienced engineers.
By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard, it's hard!
Mark, not so wierd. My favorite mouthpiece was the Schilke 14a4a as my every day piece. It was the easiest for over all use, gave me my most open and brightest sound on my Old's Recording. I like that sound. That is the sound I had on our bands first CD. I loved that sound. Why because I am a trumpet player. Unfortunately, my band leader, a bass player, wants me to play darker, so I now use my Martin Committee with the Olds 3 mouthpiece. It is not as easy to play, but I have learned to re-addjust and now can maintain focus on the sweet spot for that mouthpiece. I miss my 14a4a.
Tobylou I totally agree with you. I went thru a phase and bought several MP's. I was wasting good, quality practice time messing with them, trying to find the SWEET SPOT. Glad I learned quickly...for me, familiarity and confidence allow my horn/mp to become part of me. Nowbesides my 3C I only have a 14A4C I got back in '78 I never play (why do I never hear about that MP anymore?)
'28 Conn 2B
'46 Olds Super Recording
'47 Martin Committee Deluxe
'58 Olds Recording
'12 Schilke B1L
Why doesn't your teacher want you to use the ACB mouthpiece in your lessons? Does she have a problem with how you sound on it?
J. Notso Nieuwguyski
Embrace the dark side--play the 13A4a for everything.
For the last 20+ years the 13A4a has been my go to mouthpiece for my MLV Strad. I learned how to shape my sound to suit the situation and you can too. It will just take some work.
Might want to bring both ends closer to the middle, think about going to a 14 rim and play a 14a4a for the commercial stuff and a 14 for legit. Rim diameter is between the 2 you play now and the cups are not going to be so different. Same basic rim dimensions on both 14 pieces. You say you have a better sound on the Schilke then try another Schilke, or 2.
Remember this is supposed to be fun.
I think that there is major confusion about what the problem is here. It is NOT the hardware.
Think about the process of playing. We start with a buzz, that sets up a standing wave in the horn, enough of that wave "leaks" out of the bell to reflect off of the floor, stand, ceiling and walls, gets back to the ears, is processed by the brain that tells the lips what to change to get the desired "color and shape".
The physical creates the initial sound that the mental corrects based on the muscle habits that we have.
Now, enter a second mouthpiece. If we are playing one piece a lot more, or it happens to match what is in our heads, the brain sends the WRONG signals to the face. We experience what Mark describes. To those only with interest in treating symptoms, the safari starts - generally with expensive, but miserable results. In Marks case, his brain is sending correction signals for the 13A4A when it is not attached to his face.
Part of the problem is the completely different sound, another part is the efficiency, the biggest part is the balance of practice time with the mouthpieces in acoustic spaces that we perform in.
All of this can be described as a simple servo loop (google it). Change one of the components in the loop and the servo programming does not do what is intended. Programming in this case means enough time on both pieces to firmly secure the patterns in our brain.
When my students discover this phenomenon we spend a lesson on servo loops, playing outdoors, with the eyes covered, with the valves wrapped in a towel. We remove different parts of the audible/physical/tactile experience and take notes as to what changes. The result is less dependency on the physical.
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
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